Eight Empowering Women Who Are Transforming Women’s Lives Worldwide


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These women’s inspiring tales demonstrate that one individual with a great idea may really transform the world.

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KR LIU COURTESY

presenting the gift of auditory perception

The goal of Doppler Labs’ Director of Advocacy and Accessibility is to alter how individuals see the outside environment. “It began while I was sitting in front of my audiologist’s office in my vehicle at the age of 26. I had recently spent $3,500 to repair my shattered hearing aid. KR Liu claims, “I pledged that I would make things right and took on debt to pay it off. Liu has established herself as a well-known voice for the hard of hearing by her work with the Hearing Loss Association of America. She is now advocating for the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016. (These are the 14 movies about powerful women that you should see.)

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JIGSAW COURTESY

Stopping the spread of terrorism

Five years ago, Yasmin Green was exploring how technology might assist the most failing state in the world when she unexpectedly found herself in a maximum security jail cell among Al Qaeda terrorists and Somali pirates. According to Green, “I came to the realization that the Internet will be at the center of organized crime, terrorism, and persecution.” After returning home safely, she was motivated to develop Jigsaw’s Redirect Method, which uses digital advertising technologies to approach and deter potential ISIS recruits—a difficult task that calls both perseverance and compassion. Women are disproportionately impacted when the Internet is exploited for malicious purposes. Compared to males, women are more likely to face online criticism for their opinions. (See how this lady uses her feminist fists to combat cyberbullying!)

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ONE WOMEN

expanding educational access

Dayle Haddon is the CEO and creator of WomenOne, an organization that provides high-quality education to women and girls worldwide. Haddon, who received the UN Humanitarian Award, asserts that education reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS and violence against women, improving global health and safety for everybody. According to her, there is a 50% greater chance for a kid born to a reading mother to live beyond the age of five. The group is now concentrating on Nanyuki, Kenya, since research indicates that girls are the most vulnerable there. WomenOne recently conducted a media and leadership workshop for Syrian refugee girls from the Zaatari camp while on a trip to a Syrian refugee camp. Additionally, their Centers of Worth program helps adolescent girls stay in school by offering social, emotional, and academic counseling, health education, financial literacy training, and training in digital literacy.

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GINA FONTANINI

Giving survivors a sense of being heard

Dr. Kristen Ali Eglinton’s life goal is to provide voice to young women who have faced abuse and other challenges, both domestically and abroad. According to Eglinton, co-founder and executive director of Footage Foundation, “I was doing fieldwork in Yukon Territory when young people began seeking me out and asking me to help them to share their experiences with youth in other communities.” “I was aware that my work extended beyond research and had the potential to integrate new media arts with empathy, compassion, and connection.” She has concentrated on the role that connection, empathy, and storytelling have in the growth of the person and the community. “Just as food and shelter are essential to feeling human, understanding your own suffering can help others feel less alone.” (Give yourself a confidence boost by learning these 20 motivational sayings from influential women throughout history.)

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A SINGLE MOORE BOOK

Diversifying picture books

Wayetu Moore established One Moore Book, a children’s book publishing firm, with the goal of giving kids in areas with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures access to instructive and culturally sensitive literature. One Moore Book has so far released twenty-one novels with culturally relevant tales for kids from Brazil, Haiti, Guinea, Liberia, and Guinea, written and drawn by local authors and artists. Additionally, they have given more than 8,000 books to young readers worldwide. Moore asserts that diversity in storytelling platforms transcends racial or cultural boundaries. “I would also want to see more varied accounts of women. The first step in doing so is to be truthful. Requiring accurate and impartial portrayals is revolutionary.

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Joseph Buule

enabling women to rise out of poverty

In an effort to reduce female poverty and promote women’s empowerment, Karen Sugar established the Women’s Global Empowerment Fund. The group offers microcredit loans, literacy programs, leadership and business development training, and health initiatives to women in northern Uganda. “I was determined to work in a vulnerable post-conflict region, even though I had never been to Uganda or anywhere else in Africa,” Sugar explains. “You can potentially lift a family out of extreme poverty when you give a woman a small loan and support.” Following their 2014 meeting with Wende Zomnir, co-founder of Urban Decay, the two collaborated to open a women’s community center where residents can take advantage of peer counseling provided by WGEF’s Access to Justice program, which assists women in identifying and asserting their legal rights regarding stolen-land disputes, domestic abuse, and other matters, as well as seminars and Internet access.

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delivering career-changing training

Leila Janah travels with her Samasource team to places that are in dire need of training people for digital labor, such as the slums of Kenya, Port-au-Prince, and Arkansas, and finds ways to employ the locals there for a decent wage. Her team seeks out individuals who have never used a computer and trains them in the necessary skills to become self-sufficient and keep their employment in the IT sector. About 51,000 individuals have benefited from Samasource’s assistance to far. “It became impossible to ignore the fact that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not,” the 17-year-old remarked, recalling her time working as an English teacher in Ghana. “Indian domestic workers such as maids, cooks, and nannies in Mumbai are primarily women who have been denied access to even the most basic rights.” According to her, women are more likely to participate in politics and society and are less likely to experience violence when they have access to good employment.

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addressing the issues unique to women

The organization Distributing Dignity was created by Joanie Balderstone and Rebecca McIntire with the goal of providing women in need with new bras, pads, and tampons. While food and coat drives are popular ways to support the underprivileged, women in particular are unable to get other, more specialized supplies. “Most women can identify with that in some way—we’ve all had the experience of being out and not knowing when our period is coming on,” Balderstone added. In 13 states, the charity has assisted in the distribution of 5,200 bras and 210,000 sanitary items to women residing in foster care and homeless shelters, veterans, victims of domestic abuse, those battling life-threatening illnesses, and those uprooted by natural disasters. “While a bra or tampon box won’t magically solve all of their problems, it will give them one less item to worry about while they rebuild,” Balderstone added. “We want to convey that they are worthwhile.”


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